Derek Drage, RailCats lose pitchers’ duel to Wichita
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or email@example.com June 12, 2012 11:12PM
Scott M Bort/Post-Tribune Gary RailCats Media Day Mugs RC TAGERT GREG 2 050610.jpg PTSPT
Updated: July 14, 2012 6:42AM
GARY — The RailCats will have to wait at least a little longer for their first three-game win streak of the season, and to climb above .500 for the first time since May 23.
In a taut matchup of right-handers named Derek, Blacksher outdueled Drage, as Wichita edged the RailCats 1-0 on Tuesday night at the Steel Yard.
Drage was sharp, going seven innings to match the longest outing from a RailCats starter this season. He allowed one run — retiring 10 straight batters afterwards, from the third inning through the sixth — on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
“Derek Drage was fantastic tonight,” manager Greg Tagert said.
The Wingnuts (19-6) scored the game’s only run in the third with a two-out rally, as John Rodriguez, C.J. Ziegler and Mitch Einertson strung together three straight singles. Drage had issued two-out walks in the first and second innings, but avoided damage both times.
Blacksher went 62/3 innings, allowing four hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
“Obviously, Blacksher was very good tonight,” Tagert said. “It was a pitcher’s night — cool, the wind blowing in ... Both Blacksher and Drage took advantage.”
Hard-throwing Matt Nevarez — the RailCats (12-13) had him topping out at 96 miles per hour on their radar gun, with several pitches reaching 93 and 94 — worked the ninth for his third save. Mike Rohde lined a single to center with one out, and moved to second on a wild pitch, but ended the game at third.
The RailCats’ best scoring opportunity came in the sixth, when Mike Coles led off with a double. But they could not get him around, stranding him at third.
The RailCats did not go down in order until the seventh and eighth innings.
“It’s tough to come out on the short end of that one,” Tagert said. “I would’ve loved to push across a run in the ninth or earlier in the game.”
Before the game, the RailCats placed starter Andrew Johnston on the inactive list — meaning he will be out a minimum of 30 days — with his back problem. They signed left-handed relief pitcher David Quinowski, who spent six seasons in the Giants organization, including all of last season and part of 2010 at Double-A.